IBM Rational certification demonstrates expertise using this diverse family of products, which includes a full life cycle software development platform as well as tools for asset management, performance measurement and product line engineering. Developers, architects and project managers can take advantage of IBM Rational training to bring agile software and systems development processes to their organization.
Rational certification options are both broad and deep. For example, candidates for the IBM Certified Specialist - Rational ClearCase v7.1 designation need a background in change management and also knowledge of product installation and configuration in various environments, including different versions of Microsoft Windows, UNIX and Linux.
IBM Rational certification choices
The IBM Rational Certification Program comprises 28 different options. Exams focus on various features of the software, development roles and levels of expertise, in the following main areas:
- Architecture management
- Change and release management
- Enterprise architecture
- Enterprise modernization
- Process and portfolio management
- Quality management
- Software delivery automation
Within these functional categories, you can select your role and level of expertise. For example, the Architecture Management certification includes these distinct paths:
- IBM Certified Administrator, for application administration using Rational BuildForge
- Associate Developer
- Application Developer or Advanced Application Developer
- Deployment Professional, using DOORS or Rational RequisitePro
- Solution Designer
- Specialist for Rational Requirements Management with Use Cases
You can specialize even further within the Solution Designer category:
- Object Oriented Analysis and Design, vUML 2: Create software design models using Unified Modeling Language Version 2.
- Rational Software Architect: Design applications using model-driven development and reusable assets.
- Rhapsody in C++ for the Software Engineer: Explore this environment for real-time and embedded software development.
The focus of IBM Rational certifications varies, with an emphasis on proficiency in one of the software suite's applications or tools, such as these:
- Team Concert
- Host Access Transformation Services or HATS
- The AppScan family
- Performance Tester
Other certifications cover skills such as requirements management, manual and automated testing, and different aspects of application development.
Passing IBM Rational certification exams
IBM recommends pursuing certification after you have had the opportunity to build basic skills using these products in the workplace. Formal IBM Rational training is designed not to replace real-world experience, but to validate and extend existing expertise. To determine whether you are ready to take the next step toward IBM Rational certification, check the Recommended Prerequisite Skills section on the IBM website.
IBM Rational certification exams vary in structure; exam times range up to 2.5 hours, covering from 40 to 120 questions. The IBM Professional Certification Program website provides details about each of the exams, including test objectives, a sample test for assessment and training resources.
Career advantages of Rational certification
IBM Rational certifications target IT roles such as software or systems developers, project managers, solutions architects, and administrators who work with the software. In a recent online job search, employers that favored or required Rational certification included a financial services/banking group, a leader in technology research, a top IT firm and an insurance company. Global Knowledge's 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report does not list Rational certifications, but an IBM Certified System Administrator could expect to earn a mean annual salary of $77,431.
IBM Rational software streamlines software and systems development processes, with the potential to boost organizational effectiveness. Look into Rational certification to see what added value it could bring to your employer or to your professional future.